group

Providing positive Santa experiences for kids

Running a Christmas event involving a group of kids this year? If so, here’s an alternative way to do things to make it  truly positive and memorable for the kids – and the adults.

Whether it’s a school group, scouting group, sporting club or another type of children’s group, you can make Santa’s presence even more special – and this could solve some budget problems, too.

Sitting on Santa’s lap

Santa and boy giving gifts to girl

Santa & a boy giving gifts to a girl

Traditionally, each child will come and sit on Santa’s lap, tell him what they want for Christmas, possibly be given a gift and hop down so the next child has a turn. For bigger groups, each child may just be given something by Santa.

This year, why to try something a little different? It may take a bit longer but the rewards are much stronger (and maybe that means fewer other activities or games to organise!)

Let’s look at three children at this special Christmas event, Ashlea, Lachlan and Piper.

Santa sits beside the Christmas tree and invites Ashlea to sit on his lap. Lachlan follows her and stands beside Santa.

Lachlan then says something nice about Ashlea (see some examples below) before Santa gives her a small gift.

Lachlan now sits on Santa’s lap and Piper comes up to stand beside Santa and says something nice about Lachlan. Followed by Ashlea standing to say something nice about Piper when it is her turn.

You can call children randomly or try to put friends near each other, but the point is that each child hears positive things about themselves which is a valuable gift.

It is also good for the child speaking to think of and acknowledge positives about their friend/classmate/fellow scout/etc.

Saying nice things

Obviously, each child has different strengths and what each child sees in another will vary, too.

And we want that variety to come though as Santa loves all children with all their differences.

But here are some examples to get you thinking and to demonstrate to the children:

  • I love your big smile
  • You were nice to me when I fell down
  • You are very smart when the teacher asks you questions
  • I like your jokes and funny stories
  • you are a good friend
  • I like how you are kind to animals
  • you’re the best skipper in our school

Depending on the group of kids, you may want to explain what will happen before hand so they know some basic rules and are prepared to stand in front of everyone. Or you may start with some adults having a turn to set the mood and show how it works.

Or maybe you have a better suggestion on how to introduce this to the group?

Any suggestions on ways to make this a more lasting event, too?

Would this work for adults? I think everyone deserves to hear some genuine nice things about themselves. You could even do this for each member of your family – and have everyone say something nice about each person in turn.

For a bigger group, a tree of thanks may be a better option, or split kids into groups to sit on Santa’s lap – or have a few helpers there to hear the good things instead of Santa having all the kids on his lap.

 

* Photo courtesy of Big Stock Photos

Teacher gifts

As a teacher, I often get a number of gifts from students. Everyone of those gifts is appreciated for the thought and the message it conveys, but I have to say that not all of them are wanted.

I mean, little soaps are cute but not so practical in a house with 3 boys and I’m actually allergic to chocolate (yes I know it is shocking) And I’ve noticed that female teachers never get given wine! (I wonder if female coaches, leaders, etc find the same thing???)

So I was VERY pleased today to get a gift from my class – not each child, but a class gift organised by a parent or two. They gave me a voucher for a massage and a bottle of moisturiser – a perfect way to relax at the end of the year and very thoughtful.

It’s probably too late for this year, but if you are thinking of a gift for a teacher/leader/coach consider getting something as a group – the recipient is likely to appreciate it and it may even be cheaper than buying something yourself.

And for anyone who does want to organise a group gift, I came across a site that may be useful – Chip In manages the payments from everyone in the group.

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